As far as I'm concerned Meltzer is a wonderful teacher and darn good writer. Very, very bright while he weaves fiction and fact. I've watched him on the History Channel doing the "Decoded" series, very interesting as are the topics he has his team research.
I am a fan of Brad Meltzer's "Decoded", but have never read any of his books. This one just did not hold my interest, And, what a disappointment, since I am a huge fan of conspiracy theories and mysteries.
I love how the author runs with an idea and gets it to tie into actual history.
Scott Brick is my favorite narrator. Always does a great job with the story!
Have enjoyed his work on other titles. He is not bad.
My book started playing at chapter 62. Not sure why, but the story is so bad, I do not care to try to straighten out the problem.
I have liked several of Brad Meltzer's books in the past and had read the first book in this "Culpa Ring" series. I also was out of books to listen to by always-great authors like Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, David Baldacci and James Rollins. This was a painful listen in every way.
First, unlike so many other reviewers, I am NOT a Scott Brick fan. I think the criticisms here that he reads each sentence as if the weight of the Universe is hanging on his next breath is an apt description of every book he narrates. If the story itself is good enough, I can suffer through Mr. Brick's love affair with his own pronunciation. Unfortunately, this book was almost as bad as the narrator. He makes the characters either too whiny or too self-important or puts an inflection in his voice that makes the listener know "this is the BAD GUY." The overly dramatic narration made it almost impossible to finish.
Secondly, I could have gotten past the narration if the story wasn't SO incredibly weak. I don't believe that the story was convoluted or told out of order as some other readers have suggested. The story was just plain stupid. When I am reading espionage thrillers (and I read many, many books within this genre), I'd like there to be some sort of basis in reality. I can willingly suspend my disbelief to a certain point -- all espionage has some angle that is not credible. Where Mr. Meltzer fails miserably in this story is that at no place in the story did I ask myself "could this really happen?" or "is there someone like this running around the federal government?" Without that mere hint of realism, the story is laughable.
It was not a good use of my credit. More importantly, after agonizing through yet another of Scott Brick's narrations of a Meltzer novel, I am done. The two -- author and narrator -- are a deadly combination. And not in a good way.
Look, it's my fault for not realizing this book was part of a trilogy. So, since I did not read Book 1, I was not primed to read this book. And I feel this book does not stand on its own. It isn't that I missed Book 1. its more that I expected a fuller story in this book. All the 14 hours of build up and suspense just seem to get dissipated by the 15th hour made to set up Book 3, whenever it will be written and published.
As far as believability, Beecher, the main character is an archivist, i.e. a librarian. Why? What about the Dewey Decimal System makes one a James Bond? Given the subject matter, he could have been FBI or Secret Service. Wouldn't have really made a difference and would have been more believable. While the author added substantial back stories to some of the main characters--usually a good thing--jumping from the present to past often seemed to cut or frustrate tension rather than enhance it.
I've listened to Scot Brick before and liked his readings. This time, however, it seemed like every sentence was read as if the next were about to reveal the secret of the universe--the reading was somewhat overboard.
I wanted to like the book based on interviews with Brad Meltzer. I was looking for to a great historical thriller. The book does pretty well deliver well on history, but I was not thrilled.
I could not get into this book at all. The story seemed interesting but the narrator was terrible. He seemed to end each sentence in a whisper as if he were reading the book to someone who was trying to doze off for the night. He was entirely too dramatic with every sentence. The narration completely spoiled this book and I did not finish it.
Picked a different narrator
I have listened to Brick before but this seemed to be completely different. Not a good listen at all.
Meltzer is trying to create a memorable character in Beacher White and for me it just isn't happening. If you LOVE history and really into politics you would enjoy this book far more than me. I got sick and tired of all the historical detail and wanted a bit more action. Throw in the fact that the conspiracy part (all of which is continued from book 1 - the inner circle) was getting pretty thin. In the end I was just sick and tired of the book and wanted it to end - the actual ending was incredibly disappointing as I really wanted the bad buy (the President in this case) to die.
This is not one of his better books or series. I have enjoyed others far more.
Love Scott Brick
It needs and the story was left at a place for a third book. Sadly it is not a series I will likely continue due to my complete lack of interest in history and politics. If there was more action and more enticing twists and turns then I would be more interested in a third book.
I am really surprised by the positive reviews for this audio book. Scott Brick's over-the-top dramatic lilt in his reading and delivery make this audio book so difficult to hear, that both my husband and I have completely given up on the story. Every sentence ends in an inaudible whisper. The story itself may be vaguely interesting, but it jumps around to the point that you wonder if you are listening to/reading a book relating to time travel...that is, if you can actually hear it. I really expected more from Brad Meltzer... Or maybe it's Scott Brick that ruined it... Anyway, a pretty bad combo. I hate not to finish a book, but I have gone far enough with this one and I can't take it anymore! A complete waste of a credit.
Wont ever buy a Meltzer book again.
A Follett book
Book started agonizingly slow, had a stronger second half but ended with a complete thud. Absolutely worthless, unexplained ending - worthless.
Author needs story telling lessons -- especially how to end one.
Dont waste your time or money.